5 Characteristics of Tragic Hero

Topics: LifeHero

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Last updated: April 30, 2019

1
The tragic hero is a character of noble stature and has greatness. S/he must occupy a “high” status position as well as exemplify nobility and virtue as part of his/her innate character.

2
Though the tragic hero is pre-eminently great, s/he is not perfect. This is partially because we would be unable to identify with the tragic hero, something we must do in order to experience catharsis.

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We should see in him or her someone who is essentially like us, although perhaps elevated to a higher position in society.

3
The hero’s downfall, therefore, is partially his/her own fault, and thus the result of free choice, not of accident or villainy or some overriding, malevolent fate. In fact, the tragedy is usually triggered by some error in judgment or some character flaw that contributes to the hero’s lack of perfection noted above

4
The hero’s misfortunate is not wholly deserved. The punishment exceeds the crime.

5
The fall is not pure loss.

There is some increase in awareness, some gain in self-knowledge, some discovery on the part of the tragic hero.

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